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Honolulu: Sam Choy's

580 N. Nimitz Highway , Phone: (808) 545-7997

Reviewed by: Colleen from CA, review #3488

When: 2010

Loved this casual restaurant! Great food and fun atmosphere.

Directions: Coming from Waikiki, on the left just past Hilo Hattie's

Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab, photo by

We'd heard good things about "Sam Choy's Breakfast, Lunch & Crab" from a colleague, who mentioned it was run by a well known local who'd also written several cookbooks.

It's a bit difficult to access unless you know exactly where it is. (We had to drive around the block and then enter via another business!) Once into the valet-only parking lot the restaurant entrance leads to a high-ceilinged warehouse-like space, with an open kitchen straight ahead, a brewery to the left, and a boat (!) strung with tiny lights on the right.

The lunch menu had the usual sandwich and salad standards, plus Hawaiian plate lunches. (See menu on website.) My colleague ordered the "Fried Poke Plate Lunch" (sides of white rice and mixed macaroni and potato salad) and I ordered the "Fried Poke Salad." (We'd both become addicted to poke - marinated raw tuna - in our previous visits to Honolulu!)

I'll try just about anything fried ;) and was very happy with the quick seared poke on top of a butter lettuce salad. It was served with the most amazing oriental salad dressing ... it was really delicious.

I had my eye on a fellow diner who had a light-to-dark beer flight lined up in front of him, but sadly, I was working that afternoon and couldn't try any of the "Big Aloha" beers.

Our server was attentive, and didn't bother us when we needed to open our laptops to work for a little while.

I plan to return to Sam Choy's for another great meal at my earliest opportunity! At the airport on the way home, I found one of his cookbooks at the bookstore. It includes the recipes for fried poke AND that awesome dressing! I can't wait to try recreating both.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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